COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - Recipients of a supplemental food program that's at risk because of the federal government shutdown are getting a couple more weeks of help thanks to South Carolina's health department.

Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Environmental Control said it would maintain the WIC program until October 15th.

But Friday, the agency informed its more than 122,000 clients that it would continue to back the federally funded Women, Infant and Children program through the end of October.

WIC helps pregnant women and mothers buy healthy food.

DHEC Director Catherine Templeton says her agency is using savings to make sure the program stays funded during the government shutdown.

But Templeton says she may have to furlough the agency's 3,500 employees to come up with money to keep WIC going if the federal government doesn't reimburse the state for its costs during the shutdown.

(Photo courtesy of USDA Food and Nutrition Service)